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Profs & Pints Richmond: The Warrior Queen Who Challenged Rome

By Profs and Pints (other events)

Tuesday, June 4 2024 6:00 PM 8:30 PM EDT
 
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Profs and Pints Richmond presents: “The Warrior Queen Who Challenged Rome,” a look at how the indigenous peoples of Britain nearly drove Nero's armies from the island, with Jared Kreiner, lecturer in history and classics at Christopher Newport University and scholar of Roman imperialism, the Roman military, and ancient revolts.

Few stories from the ancient world hold as many surprises and as much drama as the Boudican Revolt, named for a queen who united indigenous peoples in an armed uprising against the powerful Roman Empire and led them into battle herself. Come learn about this fascinating chapter of ancient history with Dr. Jared Kreiner, a scholar of the ancient Roman Empire and the rebellions against it.

To set the stage, he’ll discuss how the Romans began their conquest of Britain in 43 CE, initially establishing control over the southeastern part of the island. As its forces drove north and west, they left behind them opportunities for rebellion by trusting forces that were dispersed, small in number, and ill-equipped to oversee a patchwork of communities and tribes that varied in their willingness to submit to their new rulers. Among them was the Iceni, a tribe ruled by the queen Boudica, described as a charismatic leader, great speaker, and imposing figure who combined the leadership of a warrior with a professed capacity for divination.

From there, Professor Kreiner will discuss what provoked the Iceni and other tribes to mount an uprising that immediately met success by overwhelming small pockets of Roman forces spread out over the conquered territories. Their victories inspired others to join the revolt, with the rebels’ numbers said to have swollen to 230,000 by its final battle. Bent on erasing Roman influence from the island, Boudica sacked and burned cities with large concentrations of Romans and Roman sympathizers, including London, taking no prisoners.

Finally, you’ll learn about the battle that ended the uprising, in which Britain’s Roman governor, Suetonius Paullus, skillfully countered the rebels’ tactics in a pitched battle in which he, too, showed no mercy. The Romans went on to rule for another 350 years, and Boudica eventually became revered as a symbol of the British Empire. Her fascinating story, passed on to us by some of ancient Rome’s greatest writers, continues to amaze those who learn it. (Advance tickets: $13.50 plus sales tax and processing fees. Doors: $17, or $15 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later.)

Image: The Boudica statue in Westminster. Photo by Paul Walter / Wikimedia Commons.